Open Seminar

Vol. 28.

The Creation of Fixed Expressions: Kanshi of the Sorai School

  • Date: 6th November 2020, 17:30-19:30
  • Speaker: Daiki Takayama (Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, The University of Tokyo)
  • Discussant: Yoshitaka Yamamoto (National Institute of JapaneseLiterature)

Composition of kanshi (Japanese poetry written in Chinese) flourished in Edo-period Japan. Especially popular in the 18th century was the poetry style of Sorai Ogyu and his school (known as the Kobunji School). But today their works are nearly "forgotten," and in the research field they have often been dismissed as thoroughly pseudoclassical and lacking in personality. In recent years, however, there has been an ongoing reexamination of Sorai-school kanshi. In this open seminar we will consider the question "What sort of reading makes Sorai-school kanshi interesting?" from the perspective of this new research movement, looking at examples such as the place name expression "Ijika" (Kagamiyama). With guest speaker Yoshitaka Yamamoto, an expert on Mokumon and Hokuzan Yamamoto (who clashed with the Sorai school), we will aim for a deeper discussion of various aspects of mid-Edo-period kanbungaku (Japanese literature written in classical Chinese).